Can you hang, with Alexander Wang?
Usually it’s a designer that seeks a muse to embody their aesthetic and vision for life. The pairings are famous. Most recently we had Tom Ford with muse, Carine Roitfield, as they shaped the house of Gucci in the late 90’s and into the beginning of the new millennium. But in our current age of mashed up visions, cross referenced time periods and styles, and nostalgia for an imagined innocence, the role of designer reaching out to muse is changing. And there is no better example of this than Alexander Wang.
It’s almost difficult to choose a starting point for Mr. Wang, as there have been so many eclectic twists and turns. But let’s proceed with a major success, the Brenda bag, which graced the shoulders of starlets. Everyone from the Olsen twins to Rihanna was photographed with the coiled-metal strap purse in tow. Curatorial boutiques like Opening Ceremony were early champions, watching his star quickly ascend.
Wang has his hand on the pulse. He instinctively knows what people desire in our frenetic age, with a sense of urban luxury that led to creating T by Alexander Wang, which has interesting campaign faces. This season stars Die Antwood, the unbridled musical group from South Africa’s “Zef” scene whose sound is a hodgepodge of controversy.
They’re not your typical choice for muse, but the band and designer were friends first. Again, this seems incongruous, but not if you understand Mr. Wang’s world. For an after party Mr. Wang asked music’s Greta Garbo, Lauryn Hill, to perform. She gladly played for the boldfaced and the beautiful. Alexander’s clothing has a subversive quality. It’s unassuming street style, usually in black, paired with expert tailoring and tony details. An American Anne Demeulemeester for the new generation.
Wang has also been linked with burgeoning Hip Hop stars carving out a more abstract—Swag inspired—sound that parts ways with the conservative thuggish world of oversized clothing and homophobia. For his latest video, A$AP Rocky was quoted as dressing in head-to-toe Alexander Wang, of course they hang out. Everyone wants to hang with Alexander. Just last week Azealia Banks boisterously confirmed she will be dressed by, and join, Alexander on the red carpet of the Met Costume Institute Ball, where she will also perform.
It’s that mixture of the high, the low, and the moment’s necessities—a sort of postmodern urge overkill—that literally has artists running towards Mr. Wang, and not the other way around. Just last week Mr. Wang was spotted exchanging hugs with Santigold after her performance at Coachella, of course this was before he was seen lounging by the swimming pool with Florence Welch of Florence and The Machine. The list grows. Mr. Wang’s instincts inspire the creators of now. He knows what people yearn for in the modern world. We should be grateful to have such an approachable, if not exacting, muse in which to draw from. Dibs on the new T’s.